By Dawn G., TX

Mom of Tyler (05/27/89), Wade (02/07/06), Wyatt (05/18/07), and Gabrielle (09/17/09)

I am a 42-year-old nurse with a twenty-year-old, a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and a newborn! Having worked in a neo-natal unit and seen the inner workings of a hospital birth, as well as delivering my oldest son in a hospital twenty years ago, I chose home births for my last three. But when I went into labor with my first home birth baby, my midwife was out of town! That’s how Ginger arrived on the scene…

Because I was ten days late, I was scheduled for an ultrasound appointment, but I knew I was already in labor as we drove in for the appointment. My husband, a doctor, questioned whether I was really in labor because I had experienced some false labor previously. Ginger was the midwife on duty to give me the ultrasound. I had met her only once before at a class at the birth center, but from that brief first meeting and our ultrasound visit, I knew that I wanted her to be our backup midwife and deliver the baby. She’s nice, she listens, and although I hardly knew her I felt really comfortable with her.

We went back home, telling Ginger not to come just yet, and I got in the bathtub to ease the pain of the contractions. My husband kept asking, “Should I call Ginger to come?” and I kept saying, “Let me wait just a little bit.” Well, the labor hit really hard at about 1 p.m., and I got out of the tub, and my husband called Ginger. I guess I waited just a little bit too long to call. She got there about seven minutes after Wade was born, just in time to deliver the placenta!

When I got pregnant again, I knew I wanted to use Ginger again. I now had a baby, and I really liked that Ginger would come out to my house for the prenatal visits – I didn’t have to worry about getting dressed, packing up Wade, or driving anywhere. This time when I went into labor, my husband Bob said, “I’m calling Ginger now. I really don’t want to deliver this one; I want to enjoy it.” So she came out about 3:30 that afternoon.

I like to labor in the water in my huge garden tub, where the warm water relaxes me so my body can do what it needs to do. Then when I feel like it’s nearing the end, I get out of the water and deliver in the bathroom. (I don’t want to make a huge mess in my bedroom or on my bed.) We always put vinyl tablecloths on the bathroom floor with comforters underneath so it will be soft. Ginger comes into the bathroom with me and just hangs out, checking on things as needed. I joke with my husband that I’m so comfortable with Ginger, she could climb into the bathtub naked with me and I’d be okay! She delivered Wyatt at about 10:30 that evening.

I had two miscarriages just before I got pregnant with my fourth child, and even though I had wanted a girl so bad, I was past forty and had pretty much given up when Gabrielle surprised us! I went into labor with her at three in the morning and had a lot of blood, so we called Ginger to come in immediately. Again, we hung out in the bathroom for a couple hours until I was 7 or 8 cm dilated. I was really tired by that time, because it was seven in the morning and I had been waiting for the baby to come since my mucus plug had come out at 1 pm the afternoon before. I was thinking, “I am too old for this, she’s not coming, having babies is for young people, I need a nap.” So I got out of the tub and laid down. My little girl calmed down, the contractions stopped for a good 30 minutes, and I got to sleep for about an hour before they picked up again. Gabrielle was born about 9:27 a.m. She was not too hard to deliver, but the placenta didn’t come out right afterward, so we tried some different positions, we tried tugging a little bit, we tried massaging my stomach and getting back into the shower to relax. Ginger offered a shot of pitocin, but I was adament that I didn’t want any shots. I was wondering at what point I would have to go to the hospital if this placenta didn’t come out. But after about an hour, the massaging and gentle tugging worked and it came out!

I don’t recommend home births for everyone, because some people aren’t comfortable with their bodies’ natural ability to give birth and would be worried the whole pregnancy. The hospital is a great place to be if you have a problem and really need to be there. My sister-in-law had high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, and she needed to deliver in the hospital. But pregnancy in itself is not an illness. People can’t believe that I would do this without an epidural, but for most people an epidural just slows down the process and then you can’t even feel when you need to push. With an unmedicated home birth, of course you’re very aware of when you need to push, but it’s such an amazing feeling when it’s over and you’re totally alert, don’t need an IV, and the baby is right there with you instead of being whisked away for four hours. Even though my husband and I both are in the medical field, I feel very restricted by the hospital process.

With Ginger, I feel like my husband and I can be in control of our birth. She’s a very pleasant and mild-mannered, sweet person, and I trust her ability and her judgment completely. We will not be having any more babies, since our last one wasn’t even planned, but I highly recommend Ginger to those looking for a home birth.